A Forward Experience

An arm wrestle of tectonic proportions. The African plate grapples cheek-to-cheek with the Australian, with immense pressure building at their conjuncture. After years of contest, the African plate concedes defeat with a sigh, sliding under the Australian, displacing millions of litres of water. Like Godzilla before he has fully surfaced, the water above the buckle swells.

The first to experience whiplash is the fisherman, who thinks he has hooked something worthy of a story. His boat is carried swiftly about, while ethereal frequencies bubble up from the ocean floor. He is close to the tsunami’s point of origin; the wave hasn’t yet crested so he remains safe. Like your rubber duck, who gets caught in the turbulence you create while getting out of the tub.

The second whiplash scenario is the lifeguard; he isn’t even hit by the wave, the fool. He sees the wave from afar with his cherry red binoculars and jumps off his ten foot tower to warn the beach rescue centre. He trips on his buoy and breaks his neck. That’s all you need to break your neck. Ten feet.

The third is a little harder to determine; the wave doesn’t hit the shore of Sendai perpendicularly, so it is probably one of the couples out on sailboats, or a group on a whale watching expedition. Regardless, many people along the coast experience the aggressive reach of the Pacific. Magpie, at eighty years old, is expecting to die soon anyway, so she isn’t too worried about being pinned between the wall of her three star resort and a torrent of unrelenting ocean water. Thomas is only eleven though, so he wishes he can live long enough to figure out what is starting to go on in his pants. He dies in a brown undertow.

Most of the people who hear the radio announcements don’t think it will affect them; after all they have never felt tragedy strike before. As if to mock their naiveté, the tsunami brings all the tourist paraphernalia from the beach as a trophy of the ocean’s dominance of the coastal zones. The tsunami charges inland wielding umbrellas and lounge chairs, pointed at anyone who is foolish enough to challenge the power of God.

You and I, we may have heard about all of this on the radio, while on the way to work. Maybe your parents mentioned it while you ate dry pork tenderloin, waiting to escape and see your friends. Most likely, you read about it on some form of social media forum. The information ocean that is the internet is deeper than any one you can stick your feet into. Have you ever followed the links on the side of a webpage until you find yourself somewhere quite strange? Turned right at every digital intersection until you sank into binary oblivion?


A poll was taken by the associates at ipawz.com and they concluded that a cat-dog-horse-rabbit hybrid is the ultimate domestic pet. There is nothing ultimate about this monster, just because ipawz.com associates can agree on the perfect species of animal, that doesn’t mean that inventing a Frankenstein creature is the solution. Spliced animals are demonic by nature. You would be lying in your bed when your cat-dog-horse-rabbit would slide in, softly neigh-bark-meowing; plotting to end you with its hoof-paws.


You are feeling a little mischievous. Perhaps you want to chase your cat around with night vision goggles. You find yourself on thespyplace.com. You soon realize that the spy gear is just a front, while the purpose of the site is to sell “Telephone Spy Recorders”. This website sells phone taps for suspicious and jealous spouses.

The professional face of Google seems to be only three pages deep. Go deeper, and find hokey websites made by parents who are excited about their new cupcake business, a little extra income aside from what they earn from the real estate office. They can still afford that unwinding cottage vacation.

“Don’t kill the clams, son.” Dad says behind sunglasses, burning and peeling in his Muskoka chair.

“It’s cruel son.” Mom says, with freckles dense from the double tan she gets from the sun’s reflection off the lake. The little boy has never heard the word cruel though. He stands in the muddy water, with the clam’s innards spilling down his hand. The clam is obviously and irreversibly dead. He decides that they must have meant cool. He returns to deeper, purpler waters where he can resume his assassination of mollusks for the continued approval of his mother.

How often do we misinterpret? Consider this: You catch your misinterpretations perhaps twice a day. Think of all the misinterpretations that you may have never resolved. You have innumerable pieces of false information floating in your web of memories. Consider this: How often do you slightly misinterpret someone’s intentions during conversation? It is impossible to become fully immersed in a presenter’s concepts, just through auditory and visual cues? There is too much room for error within our imperfect communication mediums and the audience’s inability to fully absorb all subtle gestures the presenter relays. We can only hope for some form of pure communication in the future via technology; a device that connects the consciousness of two beings without separation. Only then can truth be shared.

Sometimes the truth has a delayed fuse. This is a feeling we are all familiar with. It’s the feeling you get when you find out that a piece of information that you always thought was true, was in fact false.

“What do you mean vodka isn’t flammable? How do they do those flaming shots?”

“Man, no forty percent liquors that are flammable; only 49.5 percent or up, and that’s rounding up.” he says condescendingly.

But you watched David Blaine take a sip of a random man’s whiskey and spit it onto a flame and make a fireball. That was real… Wasn’t it?

A thread of memories where you incorrectly assumed that piece of information in the past, suddenly pulls tight. That time when you told your friend to be mindful of her tequila shot’s proximity to the candle and she looked at you funny, thinking that you were a little too drunk; the time when you threw what was left of your gin into the campfire, with unimpressive results; the time when you told him not to ash his cigarette into that cup, it had whiskey in it. They align and the mystery that unconsciously surrounded those situations lifted. It's similar to the moment when you figure out someone is planning a surprise party for you. All those slightly awkward encounters that have been happening in the past week suddenly click into a logical and satisfying hole in your mind. Of course Edward was being weird when you saw him at the bar; he must be coming over this weekend for your birthday!

Are you going to wear something new? Wouldn’t it be obvious that you knew about the party if you wore your favourite sweater? Play it safe, just wear something standard, solid. It is very important not to trigger any red flags. Maybe practice being surprised in the mirror, the satisfaction of the planners is resting upon your acting skills now. Your reaction has to be authentic enough to make sure nobody regrets coming, despite your fleeting relationship with them.

“xoxo happy b-day wishing you all the best xoxo wish I cud come to your party my buetiful boy xoxo”

That’s a bit of a wrench in the situation. It’s going to be fine, calm down. If you have learned anything this far in this existence it’s that there is an excuse for everything. Just because your grandma has spoiled the surprise via a poorly written email, it doesn’t mean that the planners know you know. If they ever find out later that she sent that email to you, and you still faked the surprise, they may never plan one for you in the future- you phoney. It would have been nice if she used proper sentence structure in her email though. For someone who is constantly complaining about the laziness that technology imprints into our youth, her digital English is downright sloppy. It does seem like she may have no idea how to spell beautiful though, regardless of the medium she writes it with.

That is your responsibility though. Make sure to keep your elders up to date with the latest technologies. If you don’t expose your grandparents to the wonders and aids of modern technology, you are torturing them via neglect. Don’t you want your grand-kids to grab your hand in fifty years and take you on a virtual journey deep into their ocean of technology? Don’t you want to be led to a digital place where your knees restore to the strength of their youth, a place where you can fight digital demons with your grandchildren, your digital shield protecting their vulnerable digital bodies? Maybe impossible vistas are directly fed into your nervous system, real tastes, sounds, emotions, all truly experienced through controlled electronic pulses?


The wind blows confidently into frostier mornings. My roommate and I wait three hours after sunrise before going outside, and try to make it in three hours before sundown; this is essential for warm fingers and steady moods. With this rule, jacket season can be reduced by two weeks on either end.

It was one o'clock pm when we came across the "Missing Baby" poster. Unlike you, we didn't assume it was a human baby because the poster was dominated with a picture of a cat with half a tail. According to this poster, Baby will respond to her name and comes if asked politely. My roommate and I decided not to store this information as fact, as it came from a cat enthusiast. All they do is lay in beds all day, covered in cat feces and piss, spewing lies about the capabilities of their cats.

My roommate and I shared some empathy for Baby. We couldn't imagine spending any amount of time anywhere close to darkness outside, let alone completely homeless. My roommate took a picture of the poster for future reference. Coincidentally, later in the day we happened upon a poster claiming "Found Cat". The picture provided was close enough to Baby (same colouring, half tail) to prompt us to call Baby's irresponsible owner. My roommate handled the call; I have limited weekday minutes.

"Hey, is this the owner of Baby? Have you found her yet?" he said. They responded quietly into his ear.

"Alright nice, have a good one." he said, then hung up.

She returned home on her own last week. That means this owner is not only so irresponsible that they lost their cat, once they found her, they didn't have the decency to tear down the irrelevant posters.

This lead us to the conclusion that the owner was also not in the mindset to identify their cat reliably. Maybe they took in a rabies-infested raccoon, who is greedily eating Baby's meals, shitting and pissing in the owner's bed, and enjoying pats from their surrogate, senile master.

All the while, Baby is a financial burden on those who found her. They could hardly afford an attractive found poster, let alone feeding and clothing this cat the way it has grown accustomed to. The man of the house decides to take matters into his own hands. After all, his mother said the ham can be substituted with any other protein you desire when crafting her famous ham and pea soup.


"Shhh", he said, "There's no need to meow now."




Jack is a professional writer in training, but already is a seasoned unprofessional cook. He enjoys both activities equally, though one satisfies his soul, the other his stomach. 




My sister capped her summer with a week of desperate interaction with her boyfriend. They were loose in their commitments, although this is what allowed them to be tied so genuinely. She got back from her trip and wanted to spend the final week of summer sweat being romantically horizontal before she moved to university. This is a summer climax familiar to many.

They nuzzled noses each night, their brains firing, their legs firing. Their intensity ramped with each moment in contact. Their hands were familiar with one another; communicating in sign language without the awareness of my sister or her boyfriend. My sister was feeling tall. Her boyfriend had finally reached the singularity in his meditations, forever branded with the ability to exist.

Although in the power of one week’s time, she left him in our hometown. Their relationship is healthy in this way. She packed her life into the car and drove six hours to her university. My sister got a two-four from our parents as a housewarming gift.

She celebrated with her new roommates. They were merry and excited to spearhead the school-year with the digestion of eight beers each. They were having fun searching all the drawers and crawlspace corners to see if there were any good leftovers from the last tenants. The night became denser as the alcohol blunted their perceptions. Soon ingredients were haphazardly thrown together; a slop not even worthy of a drunk girl’s tongue.

·         Spaghetti noodles (one rat’s weight)

·         One whole tomato, sliced with a soiled knife

·         Pinch of basil

·         Beef broth stock

·         Water

·         Carrots, diced

·         Celery, diced

·         Onions, diced


A ghastly substance I assure you. Not soup, nor spaghetti and meat. It was a hybrid-dish that limps with a mutated gait, spilling watery tomato sauce on your shirt as it hobbles by. It pukes under boiled vegetables into your mouth. It dons an apron made of spaghetti so under-cooked it's crunchy. They ate gravely; slurping bland carbohydrates into their guts like a desperate man digs a hole. After my sister and her roommates were satisfied, they waddled and rolled into their bedrooms. So drunk they were. In fact, my sister had a dream that her boyfriend was beside her and went to kiss his neck only to realize it belonged to one of her female roommates, what a mix up! It was a really interesting experience for her, watching a lover morph into a friend in front of her eyes. It was not disgusting though, a funny experience if you ask her.

They were drunk still when they ate morning eggs, and drank morning water. They were fighting for the toilet the next morning, they all had diarrhea.



Jack is a professional writer in training, but already is a seasoned unprofessional cook. He enjoys both activities equally, though one satisfies his soul, the other his stomach. 




Three praying mantises? In one day? I have only ever seen one before this and now three in one day. I likely came across more but they sway just like grass in their movements, making them difficult to spot. In a world where dandelions are skyscrapers and flies are pigeons, praying mantises are genuinely terrifying. If we were in their weight class, we would not have developed language, or invented tools; there would be no competition. We would hide in holes in the ground scraping pictures of the mantis into the walls, while traveling above ground in constant fear of our vulnerable necks. Luckily, I stomp through this field in heavy boots at 5 feet 10 inches tall, possibly destroying their nests without being aware. This does not make me upset:Capital punishment is the only option when dealing with another murderer.

Something the mantis and I have in common is the desire to cannibalize our mates after copulation. There is nothing I would love to do more than to squeeze my lover’s head with my mandibles slowly, allowing their brains to rupture in my mouth after orgasm. Unfortunately, as a male, this would also kill the opportunity for my son to be born. I will have to instead wait nine months for my son’s birth before I can eat my mate. Do you know how hard it is to keep someone around for nine months? It’s not easy, especially when you are a cannibal; a huge stigma surrounds them.

I find the best way to keep someone in your house is to provide them with sustenance. Sling a bowl of beef barley soup into their gut and they will never desire another lover. Make sure you let that beef simmer all day, or the flavours will not meld to your son-bearer’s liking. They will leave if you don’t include a couple of bay leaves. These are essential in providing the flickering earthy taste that will make any lair feel like home.


Jack is a professional writer in training, but already is a seasoned unprofessional cook. He enjoys both activities equally, though one satisfies his soul, the other his stomach. 






This is my only working pen. Odd noises are emerging from the OC transpo ventilation system. It leaves me short of breath. I have learned that if you are travelling to an event that is important to you, make sure you are the driver. There are too many variables that are out of your control when you are a passenger. I was stood up by the carpool that I arranged to go home. Maybe they found somebody cooler than me. My commute thus far:

Biking: Approximately two hours

Waiting: Approximately one and a half hours

Busing: Approximately one hour, and counting

I feel like a man of winter journey. My clothing layering has no allowance for cold air and my backpack has perfect space optimization. It feels more like a tumour than a sac that is separate from me. The most pivotal sac that I packed today was my stomach. One three litre pot of soulful seafood chowder, shared with John, a progressive man.

“There’s so much of it,” he said whenever we ate, or walked in on an environment that was brimming with nature. John added ingredients to the soup without regret or theme in mind. John added a banana to our soup; fried with a sugar coating. John also added an oat energy bar to the chowder. Current ingredient list:

  • One can of tuna
  • One perch fillet the size of my foot (size 11 ½)
  • Two packages of instantaneous ramen, simulated chicken flavour
  • One can of coconut milk
  • Pinch of basil
  • Pinch of sun-dried tomatoes
  • Salt, pepper
  • Fried banana
  • Oat energy bar
  • Water

I eat some. A room is built within the dimensions of taste. Walls of coconut milk envelop all other pointer tastes with a paternal creaminess. The floor is made of pepper; black and hot enough that you have to constantly shift your feet back and forth so as not to get burned. Flopping writhing fishy tastes flounder in the centre. The fish dance freely, swimming, leaving behind trails of animal tastes. They are brown and alive. At this point sriracha is added; a whip enshrouded with lava, disregarding the private space of all other tastes as it bites the walls, the windows, the flowers. The banana and dissolved sugars from the oat energy bar follow you whenever you bite. Tracking you in an unfamiliar forest; faster than you. The sweetness hits you with low-dosage tranquilizer darts. Your feet begin to drag, you are getting full, and maybe sleeping on this log would be a good idea.

“Jack… It’s flooding my mouth with—“

“I know,” I said.

“I’m there too.”


Jack Lytle

Jack is a professional writer in training, but already is a seasoned unprofessional cook. He enjoys both activities equally, though one satisfies his soul, the other his stomach.